On March 17th, Ontario announced a State of Emergency for the province. In the span of one day, large gatherings were banned, businesses were closed, and the hospitality industry came grinding to a halt.
With gatherings limited to only 5 people, it raised a lot of questions. When can I have my wedding? Will sporting events and concerts be postponed? When will restaurants open again?
Looking beyond the present and towards the future, there’s one overarching question with a lot of unknowns: What will the future of events in the hospitality industry look like?
COVID-19 Closures and How Businesses Adapted
As a result of the emergency, several businesses had to close their doors. From shopping malls to car dealerships, the city of Toronto became quiet. Very, very quiet. Unemployment rates climbed to 13.7%, the highest number in more than four decades. Employees throughout all industries were getting laid off, but the hospitality industry was among the hardest hit. This didn’t go unnoticed; Save Hospitality was formed to bring awareness to the situation.
“With over 1 million hospitality jobs lost across the country last week alone, there can be no doubt that the rebound and survival of our industry in Canada will be crucial to our country’s overall economic recovery.”
Many businesses adapted to the changing landscape and innovated their business model to continue operating. At Encore, we were quick to launch an online Home Delivery program for Groceries & Prepared Meals throughout the city. We weren’t going to let COVID-19 stop us from feeding the community that we’ve been so proud to serve for more than 40 years.
The New Normal and Looking Towards the Future
Staying home and FaceTiming with friends and family become part of the daily routine. With no events and no gatherings of more than 5 people, a day-in-the-life started looking very different. But while Encore was adapting to The New Normal, we were also brainstorming about the future of events in the hospitality industry.
When would restrictions start to ease? Would it be in small, gradual phases? How long until large events like weddings and corporate conferences would be allowed again?
These are all important questions that need to be considered, not just for businesses in the hospitality industry, but for every person who might be planning (or attending) these types of events.
Planning Events in Toronto - Small and Large Gatherings
Planning events in Toronto is starting to become more difficult. In addition to many businesses and venues being closed, you have to consider if your event falls within the guidelines and recommendations provided by the government.
Large indoor weddings might not be allowed in the near future, but that doesn’t mean all events will be cancelled. If you plan on having an outdoor social-distanced gathering to celebrate a big occasion, Encore is here to create a custom menu that keeps the party going.
Until large conferences are able to make a comeback, virtual events for both corporate and social occasions are on the rise. And as employees start to return to the office, Encore has a variety of individually packaged, ready-to-eat meals that can be delivered daily.
Additional Safety Precautions for Events in Toronto
As events start to happen again, additional precautions will need to be taken to ensure a high level of safety for all staff and guests. Here are some changes that you might see over the coming months:
- The number of people will be limited for events; small events will be allowed sooner than large gatherings
- A preference will be given for outdoor events like backyard birthday celebrations, and outdoor weddings
- It may become strongly recommended to wear a face mask at all public events
- There will be a focus on increased hand sanitization. Hand washing is always the best option but portable hand sanitizers are a good backup option.
- Servers, chefs, and all other staff in the hospitality industry will wear more Personal Protective Equipment like single-use gloves and face masks
- There may be a decreased demand for shareable meal options like buffets and large charcuterie boards, with a stronger preferences for individually packaged, ready-to-eat meals.
With additional safety measures in place and taking every necessary precaution, events in the hospitality industry will come back stronger than ever. As society starts to return to normal, Encore will continue to adapt and innovate to the ever changing climate of society’s needs so that your event is safe, delicious, and fun. The party never ended, it just took a short intermission.
Whether you’re planning a small gathering in the near future or thinking ahead for a big celebration, we want to hear what you’ve got going on. Give us a call at 416-661-4460 or send us a message online. We’d love to hear what you’re planning and how we can help!